Remedies using Lavender
Lavender is beautiful and has a sweet clean scent but it is a very versatile herb. It can be used for many different remedies. It can relieve burns, stings, coughs, colds, and insomnia among others. It is an antiseptic and relaxant. It also reduces pain from arthritis.
You must first make sure your skin will not react to lavender before you use it. Many people have sensitivity to the herb and can develop rashes when it comes in contact with the skin. This is especially true when using the oil topically. Make sure to do a test on the inside of your arm before rubbing the oil into any part of your body. If any redness or itching occurs you probably have an allergy and should not use it. You can expect a little eye watering at first when using oil of lavender because it is a strong scent, but if your eyes become red and itchy or your head becomes stuffed when around lavender you probably shouldn't use the herb.
Lavender can be prepared several different ways to be used in remedies. One good way is to make an infusion. To do this you need to boil 1 cup water and place it in a china or enamel teapot or pan. Add 1 tsp dried lavender flowers, cover and steep for 15 minutes or until cool. Strain and use immediately or place in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To relax and refresh after a hard day of work drink a nice lavender tea, or infusion. An infusion can be swabbed onto insect bites for immediate relief. An infusion taken internally can also alleviate headaches, faintness and sunstroke. For a cough take a strong infusion (2 tsp flowers instead of 1) sweetened with a little honey. You can take as much of this as you need. Drink a hot infusion to calm digestive tract disorders such as irritable bowl and colitis. For stuffed head and nose during a cold, place 2 T of dried lavender buds in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the stove and place on a towel or hot pad on the table. Cover head and pan with a towel making a tent and breathe in the fumes. It will clear the head. This is especially useful when fighting a mild case of pneumonia as it clears all of the infected matter from the head and lungs for a little while. When one has a yeast infection, it is useful to douche with a strong infusion at least once a day for 3 days.
Essential Oil can also be used to treat many maladies. Rub the oil into aching muscles that have been over worked, or areas where rheumatism has made them hurt. Place a few drops of oil on the temples and forehead for a migraine. Place a few drops of oil on an infected pimple or apply to a cut to reduce the chance of getting an infection. Combine the essential oil in massage oil for the arthritis patient. Several drops of oil in a bath will help with Neuralgia (spasm of pain) or just rub the oil on the area. I can vouch for this method. After having the flu I became afflicted with neuralgia of the face. My sinuses were infected and gave me so much pain; I just sat there with a heating pad over my face. I placed lavender oil on the affected area and within 2 days it was gone. My husband was a severe diabetic and had MS. He often had neuralgia in his legs. Rubbing them with lavender massage oil helped quite a bit.
Lavender in any form is said to dispel depression and give joy. Place lavender in sleep pillows for the insomniac. Or, rub the oil onto the forehead to insure a restful night, but be careful, lavender can give you vivid dreams. Lavender oil has been proved as a relaxant to both the child and mother in the birthing room and a bath in lavender soap will calm a cranky baby to sleep.
Here is a recipe for Lavender Ointment which works very well with burns, chapped lips and cold sores. Most of these ingredients can be purchased at health food stores, pharmacies, or herb stores.
4 T olive oil
3-4 T beeswax
3 tsp cocoa butter
2 Tsp lanolin
10 drops Vitamin E oil or squeeze out the contents of 4-5 E Capsules
15 drops lavender oil
Combine olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and lanolin in the top of a double boiler. Enamel is the best. If you don't have a double boiler place a glass bowl on top of a pan. Boil the water in the pan and prepare the ointment in the bowl above. As soon as the ingredients melt and mix together remove from heat. Add the vitamin E oil, essential oil and beat well. Pour into little jars (baby food jars are good) or pots and allow to cool before covering with lids. This will keep 6 to 12 months and I keep mine in the refrigerator just to be sure.
Plain lavender oil on a minor household burn will stop pain and prevent blistering. It will clear the sinuses and help you to have peaceful sleep. All in all lavender is a good thing to have around the house.